Pair of Chinese famille verte joss stick holders, Kangxi (1662-1722), with egg and spinach enamels, each seated upon a rectangular base; one with its raised paw resting upon a ball, the other with a small puppy attached
Height: Male 20.2 cm. (8 in. ), Female 20cm. (7 7/8in.)
Neatly restored breaks to the top of the incense burners and eyes and foot of puppy replaced.
In Buddhism lions, or 'Dogs of Fo' (dog of happiness) are powerful protectors of temples, imperial palaces and other holy places from evil influence, and are often presented in pairs to represent the balance of yin and yang. As can be seen here, the male lion is often depicted with a brocade ball, representing power; the female with a small cub, representing the cycle of life.